Remember the “Liz Cheney for speaker” idea trotted out by leftists earlier this month? The idea has since been revived, except in a slightly different form.
Writing for The Hill on Thanksgiving Day, political operative Alton Frye — who’s reportedly worked with both sides — called for outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to nominate a Republican outside of Congress to succeed her.
“While it has never been done before, the Constitution provides an opportunity to choose a Speaker who is not a member of the House. Seizing that option, a magnanimous Pelosi could persuade her colleagues to propose a distinguished Republican for the role,” Frye opined.
“Obviously, she would not do so without the support of the Democratic caucus and her successor as party leader, presumably Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.),” he added.
“Democrats should nominate a Republican successor to Pelosi” (@TheHillOpinion) https://t.co/lm2z8oHs41 pic.twitter.com/u2llb1aWzB
— The Hill (@thehill) November 25, 2022
But why would incoming House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries possibly agree to such a demand? Because working with an outside Republican would be easier than working with expected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
“For Jeffries and the caucus, the proposal would present a clear choice between working with an independent Republican Speaker open to bipartisan cooperation and facing protracted friction with an intensely partisan leader, presumably Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), captive to the most extreme faction within the Republican caucus,” Frye explained.
“Furthermore, both in the election of a Speaker and in subsequent legislative votes, a Democratic offer to support a nationally respected Republican as Speaker would provide a rallying point for moderate GOP House members to form coalitions. Establishing that pattern would both increase the possibility of a convergent cross-party majority on particular issues and, crucially, strengthen the leverage of more moderate Republicans in dealing with their own leader,” he added.
But who would be the best candidate? Someone “who has earned the respect of both parties and demonstrated commitment to finding common ground among partisans, whenever possible.”
Not surprisingly, Frye believes Cheney “would stand high on the list.” But he admitted in his column that she wouldn’t stand a chance because of the “intense hostility toward her among many Republicans.” Indeed, she’s outright reviled for her constant treachery. So if not her, who else?
“John Kasich, former governor of Ohio and erstwhile chairman of the House Budget Committee, and Paul Ryan, a former House Speaker and vice presidential candidate, would stand high on the list,” Frye continued.
Except both Kasich and Ryan are also despised by Republicans.
The good news for Republicans eager to install their own figure as speaker is that the Democrat Party base appears to have no interest in Frye’s radical idea.
Look (*Language warning):
if you are a dem who agrees with this or is even proposing possible republicans then you need to go get your head checked
— brion. (@whoisbrionrock) November 25, 2022
So the Democrats should try to help “fix” the Republican party and their image? No thanks. I would rather they continue to win elections.
— Pro Democracy Dad (@JPeso81) November 25, 2022
The very idea of this is so dumb. I couldn’t even get past the fourth paragraph. This dude is high AF
— Employee # 00765 (@Employee00765) November 25, 2022
Why shouldn’t republicans nominate a moderate democrat instead? Why is only one party expected to do shit like this? Fuck off.
— Saint Jawn (@bendoll1) November 25, 2022
In @thehill’s Thanksgiving edition of its humor section…
— REFrankel (@REFrankel) November 25, 2022
Frye’s idea closely mirrors one proposed by The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin earlier this month.
“OK, I’m sold. Liz Cheney for Speaker,” Rubin tweeted on the 11th.
Rubin’s fellow blue-checkmark leftists seemed to love the idea.
“WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin suggested that if the GOP gets control of the House, Democrats should nominate Liz Cheney Speaker. Brilliant idea in many ways!” CNN contributor and former Nixon-era White House counsel John Dean tweeted.
Left-wing activist Zack Czajkowski, who served as a field organizer for former President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign and as vote director for former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, concurred.
“Why not Liz Cheney as a transition Speaker of the House. It’ll piss off both Democrats and Republicans. She’s a responsible adult with a conservative voting record, a proven ability to work across the aisle, and most importantly has unflappable morale courage under pressure,” he tweeted.
Wa-Po’s Jennifer Rubin, DC libs HOT for farfetched idea of Liz Cheney for speaker https://t.co/4bZDL81vvR pic.twitter.com/4LIyt8UbnY
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 13, 2022
As it stands, the most likely speaker will be McCarthy, assuming he’s able to accrue enough votes come the final vote in January.
However, earlier this week Rep. Matt Gaetz claimed he has enough votes to prevent McCarthy’s speakership. Speaking on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast, he said that of the 36 Republicans who voted against McCarthy during the initial vote last week, five of them — which is apparently enough to stop his confirmation as speaker — have vowed to vote “no” again come the final vote in January.
“To catch everyone up, last week there were 36 votes against Kevin McCarthy in the Republican conference, and again, Kevin has had years to try to convince people of the worth of his candidacy. Since that time, zero of those 36 have come out to say, ‘You know what, I voted against McCarthy previously, but I’m now prepared to vote for him on the floor.’ Zero,” he said.
“Meanwhile, five members, which include myself, Andy Biggs, Bob Good, Matt Rosendale, and now most recently Ralph Norman, have all come out and said that our ‘no’ vote on McCarthy is firm. It was not just a no vote within the Republican conference. It is a ‘no’ vote we intend to carry to the floor,” he added.
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